Gritty house and techno for adventurous DJs.
"I Can't Play Anything But If I Did It Would Be Your Nerves," the EP's only ambient cut, would be an interesting way to reset the mood on a dance floor, opening with an ominous drone that gives way to delicate Satie-style piano and the sound of birds chirping. "A Machine That Is Trapped In The Frankfurt's Tower" is a terrific club destroyer. At 142 BPM it almost sounds like something from the post-dubstep period, when dubstep's liberated rhythms met techno's refined sound palette on releases like Dubstep Allstars Vol. 6. The background is dotted with electrical zaps, boinks and pops.
The housier "Displacement of Mr. Sherman" has a subtle funk. The textures aren't so much distorted as gently crisped. (Over-applied distortion is a common pitfall when producers are going for a crunchier sound, and thankfully Machine Woman sidesteps it.) The dial-up modem sounds and automaton beat make for an interesting contrast with the wistful melody that suddenly appears after one minute. It's a tension that Actress also exploits on some of his best recordings. "Call It Televisual 1990" has an even more pronounced surprise element. Following two minutes of ping-pong robot rhythms, Machine Woman brings in colorful house chords with no warning, emphasizing the funky syncopation you might not have realized was there. These are the kinds of tricks that you pick up once you've clocked enough hours in front of a crowd, and you learn exactly when and how to get a rise out of them.